Grob Resumes Jet Testing

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Flight International says Grob Aerospace conducted a test flight of the first prototype of its SPn light business jet last Friday, marking the resumption of a program halted three months ago when the second prototype was lost in a crash in Germany, killing the sole-occupant pilot. German authorities have since speculated that the crash was caused by elevator flutter, which led to separation of some of the control surface and part of the horizontal stabilizer. Test pilot Gerard Guillaumaud, 45, a former French air force pilot, was killed. The first test aircraft, which has flown about 300 hours since 2005, has been fitted with a belly fairing and larger ailerons and a third prototype is under construction. This third airplane will be a copy of the crash airplane and will fly in May. A fourth and final prototype has been started, and the first production model will follow it.